Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Lisa Berry from McDonald's to give some advice for people considering this job:


Lisa Berry

Restaurant Manager


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  Lisa Berry

My advice would be it is definitely a job where if you work hard and maintain your ambition you can have a satisfying career.

I think the biggest misconception is that McDonald's is only a job and stop gap to something else.

You will need patience, drive and commitment and be able to adapt to change. The skills you will learn with this job will be lifelong skills.


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Work Experience

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Work Experience

Often reported as one of the highlights of TY, doing a work experience gives you the opportunity to see what the world of work is really like.

You will probably be required to do at least 10 days work experience - maybe in two or more different companies. Many schools do more - offering a greater chance to experience what work is like, and helping you to decide what it is you'd like to do in your own future career.

Everything about work experience is about developing skills in a different way to normal classroom work. You will be expected to find your own placement, create a CV, and maybe even do a career interview.

As you are not expected to have had any previous employment experience, there is no pressure to perform any real work when you do your work experience. For your employer, it's all down to your personality, your willingness to learn, your level of interest and your behaviour and attitude on the job. For you, its about learning what its like to work in the area, and whether you think that sort of work would interest you.

There are lots of resources on this site to help you prepare and get the most out of your work experience. Why not watch the video below to get an idea of what may be involved.

Work Experience - TY Students tell of their experience.

Preparing for an Interview - Tips for Interview preparation.

There have been four events which have shaped my career.

The first was my decision to undertake a broad degree course. I initially made this choice as I enjoyed economics in school and one route to undertake a degree in pure economics was through the Business, Economics and Social Studies degree in Trinity.

I chose this course as it provided an introduction to a variety of subjects, before I had to choose which to specialise in during my second year. When I went into this degree I found that I was actually much more interested in people than in economics, and I ended up undertaking a joint-honours degree in Business and Sociology.

Sociology is really the study of society - describing and explaining all the things that people get up to! Having exposure to an array of subjects before choosing my degree focus completely changed the direction of my career.

Fortunately a lot of university courses allow significant choice - the Business course in DCU, for example, provides the opportunity to specialise or part-specialise in Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Law, e-Business and Management or French, German and Spanish. So if you are unsure like I was, it's worth going into a course with some room for manoeuvre.

The second event to shape my career was that I undertook the Foundation Scholarship Exams in Trinity. These are optional exams (yes, yes, very nerdy!) over the Easter break in second year, or third year in medicine. They are open to students in all degree courses in Trinity. On the basis of these exams I was awarded a scholarship, which lasted for five years. This covered my fees, accommodation in Trinity and an evening meal from Monday - Friday.

Living on campus allowed me to put significant effort into doing well in my degree, without sacrificing too much fun! In conjunction with the fact that I undertook a degree course with relatively small classes, this brought me to the attention of the lecturers in Trinity and I received significant support and encouragement from them. In third year I met the person who would later supervise my PhD. Mary taught me HRM and was Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning at that time. She helped me to figure out my strengths and how I could develop them.

The third major event to influence my career was the award of scholarship to complete my PhD by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS). This came with the illustrious title of being a Government of Ireland Research Scholar! I had considered going abroad to undertake my doctorate, but this award, in conjunction with my Trinity scholarship, provided significant incentive to stay. My family also emphasised the value of completing my PhD in an institution where I was known, supported and mentored - and that has proved to be invaluable.

Finding a supervisor who took a personal interest in my development and who has supported my interests has had a hugely positive impact on the course of my career and my value system. The IRCHSS award let me complete my doctorate on a full-time basis, which was quite a luxury.

The fourth important event was spending six months in the UK, working with a renowned Professor in Health Services Research, Louise Fitzgerald. My supervisor organised this for me. I learnt a phenomenal amount in working on a research project and developed a lovely network of friends and colleagues, with whom I still liaise. That time away developed my confidence, research skills and gave me a lovely support group to refer to throughout my PhD. Crucially it made me realise that while working in a university can be a relatively solitary route, there are huge opportunities for collaborative work.

Hint: Department of Education and Skills

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